Trekathon 225: The Outcast (TNG)

April 22nd, 2010

Oh dear, another thinly veiled allegory episode. This time it’s homosexuality.

The veil is awfully thin (‘I was born like this’), and the relationship between Riker and the J’naii just isn’t believable. Riker hasn’t shown himself to fall in love at the drop of a hat like this. The action is tedious, the outrage synthetic, and the moralising annoying.

I like the idea of Star Trek dealing with issues like this – it’s part of the purpose of good SF. But the thinly veiled allegory just doesn’t work as a vehicle for it. Want to say something about gay rights? Then have a gay couple on board and don’t make a big deal out of it (DS9 has a far better attempt at the same story).

Great Star Trek moment: first mention of the Federation’s founding in 2161.

225 down, 512 to go.